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Piano Trio No 1 in C minor, Op 38
1906; dedicated to Taneyev

'Grechaninov: Piano Trios' (CDH55399)
Grechaninov: Piano Trios
Buy by post £5.50 CDH55399  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
Movement 1: Allegro passionato
Track 1 on CDH55399 [9'34] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Movement 2: Lento assai
Track 2 on CDH55399 [9'16] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Movement 3: Allegro e vivace
Track 3 on CDH55399 [8'05] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)

Piano Trio No 1 in C minor, Op 38
The Piano Trio No 1 in C minor, Op 38, dedicated to Taneyev and dating from 1906, is as we might expect overtly ‘Russian’, not to say Tchaikovskian. The first movement Allegro passionato is firmly in traditional sonata form. Thus it is that the first subject of the opening movement has an urgent character and the contrasting second subject is in the usual relative major key of E flat major; the development section moves to the remote key of C flat major which involves a thorough working of the material before C minor returns.

A simple transition, via B flat, opens the second movement, Lento assai, which is actually in A flat major (another falling second) as the beautiful violin theme at once establishes. After much elaboration, the music then falls to D flat major, before briefly retracing its steps. The finale, Allegro e vivace, firmly returns to C minor, and here the influence of Rachmaninov is most apparent, particularly the finale of his second Piano Concerto, which is almost directly quoted at several points. The work ends in a fiery mood.

from notes by Robert Matthew-Walker © 2002

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